I was browsing for a good dish to hold us off during the week - ragu Bolognese - when I came across the recipe on RouxBe (roo-be) and the website asks you to commit to cooking like, "we needed to eat and so yeah, we did."
My buddy Jason Salas, now chef de cuisine, showed me how to cook the sauce during a week-long visit in Austin. He and my coworker at the bakery in H-E-B are celebrating a newborn.
The information is too tasty.
I entered my text into the "my story" segment on their website, proclaiming the goodness of el rancho:
"It was during a week-long respite at The Ranch that I introduced my friend to the ease and enjoyment of cooking. We excavated the freezers full of wild game and fresh fish, to find ground venison, whole chickens, striped bass and giant links of deer jerky, vacuum packed and falling over everything. It was substance and efficiency we were after. I wrote out a menu and began forming a grocery list of needed vegetables and pasta - for a ragu bolognese. We ate better than ever off $35 that week. Here's the recipe.
If there was ever a gateway drug to cooking, mine was probably the grill. Beer chicken - our preferred PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) exploding with the onions, garlic and habanero chili we stuffed in the can; a rolled pork tenderloin of roma tomatoes, basil and roasted garlic; potato rosti and ol' mashed spuds - mixed with leftover grilled stuffed mushrooms, jalapenos , and 2 "habees". (bacon, cream cheese, lime zest, pepper jack, more diced habanero). Leftovers went fast.
The ranch and all its animals - chickens, longhorns, cats and dogs and the usual bugs - afforded us the chance to experience more of "what you are made of," and reach for something new, like some more herbs. Cooking initiates a kind of dream state, where your creativity and appetite for feeling and conversation and good times unleashes.
I plan on eating well through college, saving as much money as I pursue photojournalism, to find out more about what I can create while getting back to the fundamentals of living down-to-earth."
Click the photo below to view a slideshow of favorites throughout the week:
"1990" and "love" is inscribed next to a hand print made shortly before the original "Gass" house changed hands with the Hects, who were vacationing on a cruise of Central-South America.